Tanger — Ciudad
(Viajero Inmovil TNGR026VIR, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01
While this latest offering from the Argentinean quartet (+ guests) compares favorably to their 1999 self-titled debut and its 2002 follow-up La Otra Cara, there are few real surprises here. The band goes the distance as an entirely instrumental unit, and features flute and electric guitar prominently on every track, one leading the other through more or less typically progressive territory, with a precise rhythm section supporting the effort, and occasional backing synth coloration to fill the spaces. For many of the nine cuts, one might be reminded of King Crimson circa Red, with a flute sitting in, though Tanger never achieves KC’s impact, emotion and high level of drama and intensity; much of what’s here seems too tightly composed without a lot of the freewheeling improvisation that could take it up a notch or two to the next level. That’s not to fault it, mind you; there are many excellent tracks here with splendid playing by all, but the best of them are those where they cut loose from the restraints (“Mascaras” for example) or step out of their standard MO completely (“Cortada” which features acoustic guitar and melodica more prominently, or “Ferrocarril”, which takes a bold step in a jazzier direction, and does feature that improvisation). Another fine offering from one of South America’s most promising bands.
Related artist(s): Tanger
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